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Permanence (was Laser printing)

Yehuda Miklaf wrote:

> I had qualms about binding such a
> thing, since, as a letterpress printer, I have a strong prejudice
> against these 'new-fangled' methods. Can we really know how permanent
> they are? Does anyone care? I tend to think that if I'm producing fine
> art, it should have some degree of guaranteed permanence. Am I being
> unrealistic? Old-fashioned?

There's a question I've been pondering for a while and it reared its head
within Yehuda's email.
What is the big deal with "permanence"? I hear many people in the book-arts
world concerned about it. What exactly are people concerned about? and why?
If something has a high "degree of guaranteed permanence" will it be around
nearly forever? Is this desireable?
Does permanent mean that the object maintains its original form and content
ad infinitum? Or can we accept permanence on an atomic level. If my
understanding of physics is correct, the atoms which comprised "Adam" and
"Eve" are still with us, only now they can be found in things like tomatoes
and "no left turn" signs.
I have to admit that, when I encounter this desire for permanence, my
kneejerk response is to devise highly volatile books. Books which
disintegrate as you read them. But that is only my reactionary self.

I am not all opposed to people striving to do quality work, or being aware
of the results of the technology they use. I'm just curious why we value
permanence over impermanence

Kevin Driedger

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